Seminarian’s Report

Peter Van Dai Nguyen making friends with local wildlife

I was a seminarian in the Diocese of McKenzie-Fort Smith, NWT. As requested by Bishop Jon, I’ve written a report about my Pastoral Internship Year. Thanks for your support.

I began in September, 2022 at St. Michael’s Parish in Behchoko, NWT. I was stationed at the rectory with my supervisor Fr. Mick Fleming. We organized 2 Confirmation Prep courses, for a total of 19 candidates. I helped with technology and teaching the course. I visited and brought Communion to the elderly and sick every Sunday and we organized Rosary prayers at the Long-Term Care Center. At Masses and funerals, I was an altar server. Such a gift for me to learn and enrich my spiritual life!

When Fr. Mick was away in Whati, a community of about 600 people more than 2 hours away, I led Sunday services. Once a month and at Christmas and Easter, I went to Whati to do the same. I also presided at an infant’s funeral when Fr. Mick was away. All of this helped me to improve my preaching skills, strengthen my confidence and faith, and develop priestly discernment.

Every week, Fr. Mick and I went to the Sportsplex. It was an opportunity for us to interact with the young people by joining in their games. The community had organized a healing camp for those struggling with or affected by addiction and I joined them for a some of the sessions.

To learn about Aboriginal culture, I participated in activities like Feeding of the Fire, Drum Dancing, and Community Walks. I went ice fishing and snowmobiling with community members, which provided me with some survival skills, and I started to learn Tlicho, a local language.

When Bishop Jon was away, I took care of maintenance at the Trappers Lake Spiritual Centre. In winter, I plowed snow, cleaned the driveway, maintained the car and fixed things. In summer, I cut firewood for the next winter. We planned 6 trips to the bush for this.

St. Michael’s in Behchoko
Winter maintenance

Regarding my duty to St. Joseph’s Seminary, once a month, I wrote my verbatim and report. At midterm and end of the academic year, I presented my reports. Fr. Sylvain Casavant, the rector at St. Joseph’s visited us in May for his final evaluation.

May God bless your ministry at CMIC!